Almost Unanimous Support for Permanent Medicaid Expansion Program
April 5, 2023
By GARRY RAYNO, InDepthNH.org
CONCORD — Advocates, health care providers, business organizations, cancer survivors, recovering addicts and patients of mental health services testified in support of a bill to reauthorize the state’s Medicaid expansion program permanently.
They also helped answer the question Senate Bill 263’s prime sponsor, Senate President Jeb Bradley, said was the only one that needed to be addressed by the House Health and Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee.
“I hope the question you will ask that the Senate asked, ‘Has Medicaid expansion worked?’ and I believe the answer is a resounding ‘yes,’” Bradley said
During the three-hour hearing, all but one person urged the House committee to reauthorize the program and to make it permanent, as David Juvet of the Business and Industry Association said, “This is not a new program. We have 10 years of experience so it makes no sense to reauthorize it for two years and come back and reauthorize it again.”
The House Finance Committee budget plan, which the House votes on Thursday, only reauthorizes the program for two years, which Bradley and others said would cause problems with consistency for health care providers and businesses, and a permanent program will allow the state to negotiate a better financial contract with the managed care organizations that administer the Granite Advantage Health Care Program along with regular Medicare.